It's Sunday, and that means it's time for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag and this week we were flooded with questions surrounding Miguel Gonzalez as well as some of the recent decisions the Baltimore Orioles have made regarding the roster.
As we always do, we want to remind you that if we receive multiple questions on the same topic, we answer them with one general answer as opposed to answering each one and repeating ourselves.
How long until the Orioles recall Miguel Gonzalez?
This is a tough question to answer, but it is one that has a worst case scenario. Gonzalez pitched well in his lone start thus far as he allowed just one hit in three innings. It is interesting that the Orioles set him on a pitch or innings limit as it could be to ease him into a long relief type of roll for the stretch run if Ubaldo Jimenez pitches decent enough. The worst case scenario we eluded to would be that Gonzalez is in the minors until September 1 when rosters expand. While that is a possibility, we foresee him getting called back up before that, the only question is whether it will be as a reliever or a starter.
Easily the most frequent question we were asked this week, and incase you missed our piece on Phelps, you can view by clicking here. Lombardozzi performed well when he was with the big league club early in the season while Manny Machado was still recovering from offseason surgery, and he has hit well with the AAA Norfolk Tides as well this season, but some things have changed a bit since he was here originally. First, when Lombardozzi was on the team earlier this season, the team was still willing to use both Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop at third base as Lombardozzi is not a third baseman, but now it is more clear that Schoop is a second baseman, and a pretty darn good one defensively to boot, so that space is not really open for Lombardozzi to play. Also, and probably the most important factor in while Phelps was chosen instead of Lombardozzi is the fact that Phelps is a super utility guy as he has played all four infield positions and both corner outfield spots and is a switch hitter as well. With that kind of mobility, it helps with the variety of options that Manager Buck Showalter has with his bench now.
Phelps also has more extra base power and is a decently high OBP guy, which could help this team as well.
If Machado had been lost for the season, would he have been the one player the Orioles could not live without?
This is a great question, and as good as Machado is, we do not believe that he is the one player the Orioles could not live without and it's mostly due to the fact that the fall off from him to another player is not as great as our choice for the most irreplaceable O's player. Adam Jones, in our opinion, is the one player the Orioles could not live without right now because of what he brings to the offense, the defense, and most importantly, to the team as a leader both on and off the field. Jones is the unquestioned leader of this team and losing him would almost certainly doom them. In addition, with no disrespect to David Lough, if Jones were to go down, Lough would become the centerfielder and the drop off from Jones to Lough would be too much for this team to overcome. Let's all hope that this is merely a what if question and not one the Orioles would ever have to deal with.
As always, we thank everyone for their questions throughout the week, and we continue to urge you to send us questions every week as Orioles101 Mailbag is here to stay as a weekly edition.
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